CHICAGO, June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Richard H. Driehaus Museum is pleased to announce the opening of three special exhibitions on June 25, 2016 inspired by the focus exhibition With a Wink and a Nod: Cartoonists of the Gilded Age. With a Wink and a Nod features 74 rare original drawings created for Puck magazine, as well as published cartoons and over 20 vintage publications.
Puck, the pioneering magazine of the Gilded Age, sought to change the world through the power of laughter. Shakespeare's mischievous faerie Puck and his observation on human folly—"What fools these mortals be!" he cries in A Midsummer Night's Dream—were featured on the masthead, and capture perfectly the aims of Puck. Created by Austrian immigrant and cartoonist Joseph Keppler, Sr. in 1876, Puck began as a German language publication. The first English edition came out in 1877, and for the next 40 years, the magazine's talented artists left no stone in society unturned—gleefully ridiculing everything from religion to politics, money, domesticity, and other aspects of daily American life.
Puck's editors encouraged creative experimentation, and hired cartoonists who pushed the limits of the art form. Puck was the first magazine to use full-color lithographs on the front, back, and centerfold, with bold black and white cartoons inside. It published work by the era's most distinguished illustrators, and also proved a training ground for extraordinary new talent. With a Wink and a Nod features original black and white drawings in a variety of styles by Samuel Ehrhart, Louis Dalrymple, Louis Glackens, Franklin Howarth, Frederick Opper, William Rogers, and more.
The pages of Puck are a unique vantage point for understanding life in Gilded Age America. During this period Chicago banker Samuel M. Nickerson and his family built and lived in the 'Marble Palace', now the Driehaus Museum. The Nickersons may have laughed with recognition when Puck poked fun at the wealthy classes, or enjoyed the special 1893 World's Columbian Exposition edition, for which Keppler moved to Chicago briefly to produce. On view in the restored second-floor galleries—once the Nickersons' private bedrooms—With a Wink and a Nod offers an immersive experience of the culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Two companion exhibitions inspired by With a Wink and a Nod will also open on June 25, 2016. Gilded Age Luxury curated by David A. Hanks features approximately fifteen objects drawn from the Richard H. Driehaus Collection. The objects represent a range of small luxury goods from the period. While some objects reflect new designs introduced in the twentieth century to accommodate changing lifestyles such as the fashion of cigarette smoking, others, such as J.P. Morgan's walking stick, are of historical significance. Luxurious and aesthetically exquisite objects similar to these can be seen in the cartoons featured in the With a Wink and a Nod. On their own, these objects can be admired for their extraordinary craftsmanship as works of art.
The second companion exhibition, Women of Influence: Chicago's Leading Ladies curated by Chicago Historian Sally Sexton Kalmbach, presents sixteen historical images highlighting some of the most influential women of Chicago during this period of vast political, social, and cultural transformation. The satirical pages of Puck in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century reveal a Gilded Age subject of fascination: the progressive woman. The cartoons indicated a culture dealing with the dramatic social changes taking place at the turn of the century, as the role of American women expanded from the private sphere into the public realm.
"We are delighted to present two companion exhibitions inspired by With a Wink and a Nod," says the Museum's Executive Director Lise Dubé-Scherr. "With every special exhibition we try to highlight any Chicago connections or, when appropriate, expand upon the featured exhibition especially when there is such rich material as we find in the cartoons presented in With a Wink and a Nod. In this instance, we were able to do both. I am certain our guests will enjoy the beautiful luxury goods and the fascinating historical images, both as independent installations and in the context of companion exhibitions to With a Wink and a Nod."
The hardcover companion book With a Wink and a Nod: Cartoonists of the Gilded Age (published by The Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida) features 64 illustrated pages filled with the bold cartoons and original drawings featured in the exhibition. The book offers a unique glimpse into these artists' creative process as well as the major themes explored inside the magazine's pages during its four decades of publication.
Visiting the Exhibitions and Public Programs
With a Wink and a Nod: Cartoonists of the Gilded Age, Gilded Age Luxury and Women of Influence: Chicago's Leading Ladies are included with general admission, and will be on view at the Driehaus Museum from June 25, 2016 through January 8, 2017.
Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the exhibition is free for Museum members. For additional information about joining the Driehaus Museum, please call 312.482.8933, ext. 31 or visit DriehausMuseum.org. General admission is $20 for adults, $12.50 for seniors ages 65 and over, $10 for students and youth ages 6–12. Children ages 5 and under are free.
A selection of programs and special events inspired by With a Wink and a Nod will be presented throughout the exhibition. For information, please visit DriehausMuseum.org.
Guided combination tours of the exhibition and Driehaus Museum highlights are $5 in addition to general admission, and take place daily at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. The duration of the tour is approximately one hour. Private groups of 10 people or more may book a group tour of the exhibition by calling 312-482-8933, ext. 44.
For general information, please call 312-482-8933, ext. 21 or visit DriehausMuseum.org.
With a Wink and a Nod: Cartoonists of the Gilded Age has been organized by the Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida, with special thanks to Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf.
About the Richard H. Driehaus Museum
Steps away from Chicago's Magnificent Mile, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum offers visitors a fascinating view of one of the few remaining examples of the palatial homes erected by the wealthy of America's Gilded Age. The lavish interiors are complemented by stunning examples of period furniture, decorative arts, stained glass, and period pieces selected from the Driehaus Collection. For more information about the Museum, visit DriehausMuseum.org.
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum
40 East Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60611
For all media inquiries regarding With a Wink and a Nod: Cartoonists of the Gilded Age contact Michelle Molise, 313-549-3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Press images for With a Wink and a Nod: Cartoonists of the Gilded Age can be found on the Press section of the Driehaus Museum website.
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SOURCE Richard H. Driehaus Museum